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Upgrading from rspec-rails-2.x to rspec-rails-3
For detailed information on the general RSpec 3.x upgrade process see the RSpec Upgrade docs.
There are several changes specific to
rspec-rails to be aware of:
Default helper files created in RSpec 3.x have changed
In prior versions, only a single
spec_helper.rb file was generated. This file
has been moved to
rails_helper.rb. The new
spec_helper.rb is the same
standard helper generated by running
This change was made to accomplish two general goals:
Keep the installation process in sync with regular RSpec changes
Provide an out-of-the-box way to avoid loading Rails for those specs that do
not require it
Generators run in RSpec 3.x will require
rails_helper and not
Upgrading an Existing App
For most existing apps, one of the following upgrade paths is sufficient to
switch to the new helpers:
I need to move things over in stages
Create a new
rails_helper.rbwith the following content:
As necessary, replace
in the specs.
When ready, move any Rails specific code and setup from
I'm ready to just switch completely
Move the existing
git mv spec/spec_helper.rb spec/rails_helper.rb
Run the installation rake task opting to not replace
$ bin/rails generate rspec:install create .rspec exist spec create spec/spec_helper.rb conflict spec/rails_helper.rb Overwrite my_app/spec/rails_helper.rb? (enter "h"for help) [Ynaqdh] n skip spec/rails_helper.rb
Move any non-Rails RSpec configurations and customizations from your
Find/replace instances of
require 'rails_helper'in any specs which rely on Rails.
File-type inference disabled by default
Previously we automatically inferred spec type from a file location, this
was a surprising behaviour for new users and undesirable for some veteran users
so from RSpec 3 onwards this behaviour must be explicitly opted into with:
RSpec.configure do |config| config.infer_spec_type_from_file_location! end
This change was made to accomplish our general goals of acting with the principle
of least surprise and making RSpec configuration more explicit. See the directory structure documentation for more details.
ActiveRecord::Migration pending migration checks
If you are not using
ActiveRecord you do not need to worry about these
Users of Rails 4.x can now take advantage of improved schema migration and sync
abilities. Prior to RSpec 3, users were required to manually run migrations in
both the development and test environments. Additionally, the behavior differed
depending on if the specs were run via
rake or via the standalone
With the release of Rails 4, new APIs have been exposed on
ActiveRecord::Migration. This allows RSpec to take advantage of these new
standard migration checks, mirroring behavior across the board.
Add the following to the top of the
rails_helperfile after Rails has
This will raise an exception if there are any pending schema changes. Users
will still be required to manually keep the development and test
environments in sync.
With this release there was an exciting new feature. Users no longer need
to keep the development and test environments in sync. To take advantage of
this add the following to the top of the
rails_helperfile after Rails
has been required:
What this does is that rather than just raising when the test schema has
pending migrations, Rails will try to load the schema. An exception will
now only be raised if there are pending migrations afterwards the schema
has been loaded.
There are a few caveates to be aware of when using this:
- Migrations still need to be run manually; although now this only has to be done in the 'development' environment
- An exception will be raised If the schema has not been initialized. The
exception will provide instructions stating
rake db:migrateneeds to be run.
It is possible to opt-out of checking for pending migrations. Since this is
actually a feature of Rails, the change needs to be done as part of the Rails
configuration. To do this, add the following to your
config.active_record.maintain_test_schema = false
New RSpec projects don't need to worry about these commands as the
rails will add them automatically.
mock_model have been difficult to maintain.
They are tightly coupled to
ActiveRecord which isn't always the ORM of choice.
This maintainence coupling has lead to delays with previous releases.
Additionally, the objects generated by these methods hide important
ActiveRecord behavior complexity which would otherwise be good to expose.
Some alternatives are:
- Wrap calls to
ActiveRecordobjects in more specific domain models and services
- Use new unsaved
- Consider partial mocks on an
- Let the specs hit database directly where appropriate
Last published almost 7 years ago by myronmarston.
RSpec Rails settings